Dedication to Mission in Moldova
Dedication to Mission in Moldova
Baptists in Moldova
Moldova is a country situated between Romania and Ukraine that is populated by 3,5 million people. The nation is comprised of several ethnic groups - 75% are Moldavians speaking the Romanian language; the others are Ukrainian, Russian, Gagauz (Turkish), Jewish and Roma people. The predominant religion is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The capital and largest city is Chisinau.
Moldova is a rural country. Its exceptionally fertile soil is among the best in Europe. An irony is that in spite of its great potential, Moldova is among the poorest countries in Europe… More than one million Moldavians are the work migrants scattered all over the Russian speaking world and in Western Europe or USA.
The Baptist Union of Moldova has experienced excellent growth since the country gained independence in 1991 and the number of Baptists has doubled. The Baptists have enjoyed freedom to preach the Gospel, train leaders and carry out fruitful missionary activities. There are numerous indigenous leaders that are actively involved in planting new Baptist congregations. Some of them have been supported by the EBF. They are exceptionally dedicated and very practical in their ministry.
MP Church Planters
Genadie and his wife Diana work in Bardar, a town on the border of Chisinau. They arrived 3 years ago and the beginning was not easy for them... The locals were suspicious and didn’t even greet them. Despite that the church planters kept trying to make friends with local people. They have successfully attracted new people and many young people have shown genuine interest. Genadie invites local youth to get involved in sport activities like teakwondo, soccer or volleyball. Later they continue with evangelistic bible studies and socialize.
Last July Genadie organized a week long sport camp for 90 pariticipants. During such camp they typically have some sport activities, bible studies and teaching about creationism as well as a proper sexual behavior. Genadie admits that thanks to such actions his authority among locals has significantly grown, even to an extent that he has been elected to a town council. Genadie and Diana emphasize that growing young leaders is the first priority in their ministry. Until now 4 leaders from Bardar have been trained and are able to lead bible studies. Now Genadie and Diana feel that Bardar is their home.
Gheorghi works in Obreja Veche which is a significant size village located in the Balti region (north of Moldova). He is very much dedicated to Christian ministry and recently organized a bible course for teenagers. About 30 attendded and some parents were attracted as well as started attending these meetings. Eventually some teenagers are getting ready to be baptised and later Gheorghi considers sending them to a bible school where they could also learn some practical skills, like using computers or repairing cars. There are 3 couples who are good friends with the missionary family who are part of the mission team. Besides organizing bible teaching they also do social ministry, like distribution of coal to heat homes in winter and clothes to poor people who can’t afford it. Gheorghi and his family feel at home in this village and are eager to continue the ministry.
Veaceslav has worked in Cojusna for the last 4 years being sent by the mother church ‚Jesus the Saviour’ from Chisinau. He had struggled in the beginning as a newcomer in Cojusna and thanks to the cooperation with EBF he has found his place in ministry. Besides typical Sunday services the church planter organizes youth meetings for ca. 20 people who regulalry watch films and discuss them afterwards. Veaceslav says that the group has been growing. He believes that God will lead him further and will show new contacts as well as develop local partnerships.
Conclusions and prayer requests
The church planters in Moldova are highly dedicated and have excellent influence on local people. They use appropriate methods of ministry and attract many new people. They also succesfully make friends with new contacts and try to disciple those who are willing to grow spiritually. The Baptist union in cooperation with other mission partners makes productive efforts to send indigenous church planters to villages where there is a spiritual potential.
Let’s pray that the people of Moldova will continue to be responsive to the gospel and that the native missionaries will be able to use the present opportunities of sharing the gospel with as many as possible.